Bolivia's government is abruptly raising gasoline prices by 73 percent, ending a six-year span in which they were frozen.
Drivers on Sunday started paying about 92 cents a liter ($3.48 a gallon) for regular gasoline, up from 50 cents ($1.89). Diesel has jumped to 97 cents a liter ($3.67 a gallon) from about 50 cents.
Vice President Alvaro Garcia says the measure fights gasoline smuggling to neighboring countries.
But protests already have erupted. Bus drivers say they will start an indefinite strike at midnight. And teachers say they will start street demonstrations.
Garcia says the state was paying $380 million a year to subsidize gasoline imports and much of it was being shipped abroad by smugglers.
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